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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  October 31, 2012 2:35am-4:00am EDT

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get them down the stairs and to ambulances on stand by to take them to other area homes. it was an emotional sight. the doctors, nurses, you know they helped several critically injured also with battery operated equipment. they have been training for this for so long. this is when their training kicked in. and it all want off without a hitch as well. which is amazing when you kid the circumstances, according to
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abc news' dr. jennifer ashton. >> when you talk about moving patients out of a hospital and taking them down multiple flights of stairs it is a logistical and medical nightmare. >> reporter: she and many others were really surprised that something like this went off without a hitch. and so glad that it did. those patients are now being treated, successfully, at other area hospitals, we are told. and president obama today, praised the doctors and the nurses here for working together. this is when, you have team work and it goes off successfully. as you can see here, though, still in lower manhattan, we are in the dark right now. and hopefully, we continue to see more stories of hope like this. instead of stories of sadness that we're likely going to see in the next few days. >> thanks to brandi hitt, live from manhattan. thank you, brandi. we turn to one of the most haunting images from sandy. a destructive fire turned a
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queens new york neighborhood into a pile of burning embers. >> the flames ripping through 111 homes fanned by sandy's powerful wind. this morning it is being called one of the worst the city has ever seen. we have more now from abc's elizabeth vargas. >> reporter: breezy point was engulfed not only by wind and rain from hurricane sandy, but something unexpected, fire. >> dozens, up to 100 homes have been decimated. and left in a rubble. >> reporter: a stunned beach front community, firemen, policemen, blue-collar workers took stock of what was gone. not a single thing you can save? >> nothing i can really identify. except for the kitchen tile and bathroom tile. >> reporter: while the cause is unknown, there is no question the fire was ferocious. the flames were fed by hurricane-force winds. hydrants were submerged. fire engines stranded helplessly blocks away by rising f floodwaters. >> in a community of 4,200 homes. of a community that lost the
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most people during 9/11. firefighters and cops, and during 9/11. this community was hit horribly tonight. the people here -- are amazing people. people with a lot of pride to them. and they're keeping it, and people i have spoken to tonight, they're going to rebuild. and somehow they will get through this. >> it will be a long time before any one in this neighborhood we walked through will be able to call breezy point home. more than 100 homes burned to the ground. dreams of retirement cottages reduced to piles of ash. >> i haven't seen anything like this -- in my career. the only thing that came close to this was, 9/11. >> reporter: this community home to so many fire fighters and first responders has seen more than its share of tragedy, 29 of their own killed on 9/11. this is senator charles shumer's home district. he came today as well. have you ever seen anything like this? >> never. and i asked 20 firefighters who have had probably 1,000 year,
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500 years of experience, asked them if they ever see anything. never happened. >> reporter: just as it has done before, breezy point is picking up the pieces. i am elizabeth vargas, breezy point, new york. >> tragedy of 9/11, hard-hit. and now this. that part of the story takes your breath away. scope of the disaster there. 111 homes gone. >> and counting. there was a mandatory evacuation. 60% of the residents decided to stay and just kind of ride it out. and as you pointed out, this, this area is filled with fireghters and, police officers who actually live and reside there. and she mentioned, there is a nearby fire department and, the fire chief says we saw the glow, we couldn't do a thing. they couldn't get to their phones. couldn't get to their truck. >> had to watch it burn, which had to beep -- just,n awful moment too. >> torturous. >> amazingly no one died. miracle. 111 homes go up in flames, no
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one dies. another example when they say get out. get out. for those evacuation orders. they give those orders for a reason. luckily no one killed. beyond scarred community. given the last couple days, somewhat easy to forget that a week from right now, we are going to be reporting the results of the presidential election. maybe. >> maybe. >> maybe. >> see what you do, ohio. in the meantime, president obama will tour hard hit areas of nudge today. mitt romney will hold three campaign events today. in florida, he turned a scheduled political rally yesterday in ohio in a bid to support sandy relief efforts. >> we won't be able to solve all the problems with our effort this morning. one of the things i learned in life is you make the difference you can. >> democrats have been hammering romney over a statement he made at a debate last year in which he said some of fema's responsibilities should be turned over to the states. and sandy is looming large over next week's presidential
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election with officials scrambling to make up for time lust to the stotime -- time lost to the storm. >> early voting sites were forced to close in battleground states like north carolina and virginia. maryland extended early voting to friday. pennsylvaniaians have until tomorrow to request an absentee ballot. despite the tragedy if you care about the election get out there and vote. >> hate to hear any stories that are going to come about in the next week or so that people weren't able to get to the polling centers. >> the power of the polling sites. logistical issues. >> in manhattan, something of an unfortunate tourist destination has popped up, or, i guess, come down, maybe, we don't want it to come down. it's this massive crane. that is just toppled over in sandy's winds. just dangling. >> kind of become an icon of the storm damage up here. still hanging in there. it has been secured for now. they tell us. gas and steam lines in the area have been shut off to avoid any danger of fire. new york's mayor says given what else he has to be dealt with,
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what has to be dealt with in all of this here, feels very good about the crane's situation. >> you live close, i don't think you feel very good about it. do you? >> it's ben noted new york city is divided in two halves, one the lower with limited power and flooded roads. >> the other, upper manhattan, where downed trees and cable outages the biggest problem. >> for city residents who don't need cable tv or power for that matter it is downed trees creating a problem. this morning an unusual but adorable scene. central park, the hub of life for humans and canines alike is shut down. the entrances are barricaded. and branches litter the park. making for some sad dogs like little riley. >> our producer's dog there too. they said more than 7,000 trees down in parks across new york city. gives you an idea of the wind damage here. >> coming up -- with so many people without power. some important information. >> our senior medical editor,
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dr. tim johnson will let us know how and when to keep your food safe in the fridge. that and some other safety tips when we come back on "world news now." stay with us. i'm only in my 60's... >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by united health care. big plans. so when i found out medicare doesn't pay all my medical expenses, i looked at my options. then i got a medicare supplement insurance plan. [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, you may know it only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. call now and find out about an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, it helps pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you thousands in out-of-pocket costs. to me, relationships matter. i've been with my doctor for 12 years.
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welcome back, wall street will be up and running, open for business first time since super storm sandy blew ashore. >> after a two day shutdown turned the new york stock exchange into pretty much a ghost town, it does reopen this morning, running first time on backup generators. experts feared that closing for a third day would have triggered a dangerous backup in stock sales.
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this morning more than 8.2 million people and 21 states are without power in the weak ake o super storm sandy. >> there were millions of refrigerators full of food when the lights when out. how long will it last. abc's senior medical correspondent tim johnson has advice. >> reporter: people are being reminded to stay indoors and not take unnecessary risks. that advice also applies to perishable foods when the power goes out for any reason. food in your refrigerator could become a source of food poisoning. after four hours or more with no power, throw out any perishable foods in the fridge. you have more time with food in your freezer. frozen foods should remain safe for 48 hours if the freezer is full. and as long as the door was kept shut. if the freezer is half full, that safety window is cut in half to just 24 hours. however, opening the freezer
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door allows cold air to escape. so, the food spoils more quickly. after any extended power outage, you should always examine the food before preparing it. if it looks discolored. has a strange texture or smells bad. throw it out. getting rid of spoiled food is far better than putting your family's health at risk. i'm dr. timothy johnson. >> when in doubt throw it out. >> good advice. still ahead an iconic image is gone. >> part of atlantic city's famous boardwalk another victim of sandy. but the people of this troubled town have more significant rebuilding ahead.
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well this is what the residents of new jersey's long beach island found when they
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went back yesterday after sandy had passed. >> the storm surge broke through the dunes along the narrow barrier island, tossing boats like match sticks, flooding streets and sweeping holes completely off their foundations. and some found on the highways. >> of course no place harder hit than atlantic city a few miles south of long beach island, where sandy made that direct hit. >> abc's ginger zee rode out the storm and surveyed the devastation after it was over. >> reporter: record tide. record pressure. record sand. that's atlantic city from above. parts of the iconic boardwalk dismantled. and that with the billowing smoke amidst the ruins, that's seaside heights, new jersey, where an amusement park was swept away. and between every house a little sandy leftovers. i want you to look at this with me. come over here. this car is completely covered in sand. up to the wheel well. this was at the bottom of the ocean before the storm.
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the water isn't all gone. >> they keep telling you to go, go, go. where are you suppose to go? >> reporter: meet marie cook and her daughter lauren. >> my car has 8 inches of water in it. my heater went. my washer and dryer went. air conditioning condenser went. came in into my den. >> reporter: trying to dry out and prepping for a possible week without power. >> you will live through it. belief me, honey. you will live through it. >> reporter: the cooks weren't the only ones who stayed. we took a ride with the national guard. followed fire fighters checking on people door to door. >> fire department! >> reporter: both groups running rescue missions all day. and from some who had to run the dicey rescues, a suggestion. >> i hope it its a lesson for everyone who stayed. next time, e vac wait. >> reporter: all of that destructs here you can see parts of the historic atlantic city boardwalk. look at the enormous chunks of wood. they're snapped in half. some splintered. names everywhere. ropes wrapped around. pretty unbelievable to think this is the one that you have probably walked on.
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i certainly have. the one that stretches in front of the casino. this is the north end. it its shredded much like the rest of jersey shore. ginger zee, abc news, atlantic city, new jeey. you disgust me.
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and has an active ingredient that stays with you long after the lozenge is gone. not just a sensation, sensational relief. finally this half-hour, some joy alongside all of the pain of the past two days. there has been so much loss and sadness of course to report in the weak of hurricane sandy. >> so we are very happy to tell you this morning about a story of a baby boy who came into this world on the tail end of the storm. here is abc's linsey davis. >> reporter: despite all of sandy's destruction, the schlepey's can't take their eyes off their little miracle born in the midst of the storm. >> he's perfect. >> reporter: they had a
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generator, water and food but weren't prepared for this. at 5:00 they lost power. right around the same time christine started feeling like the baby might come. >> contractions at this point were coming fast and strong. >> reporter: and so began an epic jrney through lashing rain and punishing wind. the plan was to go to this hospital in princeton. but when their ambulance got stuck in the mud they set off for another hospital in another ambulance. but downed trees and power lines were prevented them from making it there too. finally they wound up here, at a church gymnasium, where doctors from a nearby mobile medical van helped deliver the baby without anesthesia. >> quickly got the drapes on. and we're doing this. >> they had not delivered a baby before. >> no. >> reporter: baby and mom are doing just fine. and at just 5 pound, 2 ounces and not a day old. little liam has weathered one of
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the worst storms of most people's lifetimes. linsey davis, abc news, summerville, new jersey. >> what a story, mama will have for himmen a ein a few years, h? >> storm going on outside. during labor. >> what an ordeal. liam is the couple's fourth child. they probably thought they were ready for anything. >> did you hear no epidural. how wonderful the mobile hospital was there for them, mom and baby are just fine. i don't know if you could hear in the piece, lindsay asked had any of them delivered a baby before. no. >> first time. >> first time. mom and dad's fourth. but. >> their first. >> yes. >> interesting odds there. so, an extraordinary, last 36 hours, the images we have seen today and what has come through. said it before. went through the tornados, 9/11, katrina, the weather stories of the past two years have been incredible. i think you will see again in the aftermauth of the storm, so often the worst of mother nature
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tend to bring out the best in humanity and think we will see
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this morning on "world news now" -- after the perfect storm. >> with a mixture of determination and disbelief, millions of people reeling from hurricane sandy are taking th i very long recovery. realizing what has been lost and changed forever. >> we will rebuild it. no questionen my mind. we will rebuild it. but for those of us who are my age it went beep the same. >> the numbers are staggering. but they only begin to tell the story. at lea 50 dead, more than 8 million without power, tens of billions of dollars in damage. and the resilient people of new york city are once again forced to find a way to cope.
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>> and we saw the river coming toward us. and it, it actually looked like -- something out of a -- a movie. it was -- it was unbelievable. >> later today, president obama will visit parts of new jersey that bore the fwrubrunt of the r storm as the vote now six days away is overshadowed by the victims. it's wednesday, october 31st. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." good wednesday morning, everyone. i'm paula faris. >> doesn't quite feel like halloween. does it? it's a weird feeling this morning. >> definitely puts a spin on trick-or-treat doesn't it. >> weird holiday today. good morning, i'm rob nelson. the past 36 hours mother nature has taken much from communities throughout the country. >> but that destruction has strengthened the resilience and bonds of people in those communities. this morng on "world news now," we are going to take a
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closer look at the storm's aftermath and how people are coping, what has been lost and how they're planning to rebuild it. when you talk about what has been lost, where do you begin, really? >> a long, long road as we said. >> we do begin with the dire situation along new jersey's devastated coastline. i want you to take a look from above, bird's eye view. sand blown blocks into town. houses under water. the popular tourist spot simply gone. >> pictures say it all. now stranded residents are waiting in the dark for rescue. there is a new threat on top of all of that. liking fuel and standing water could spark an explosion. abc's terry moran reports from seaside heights. >> it was a surreal journey. at dusk, we canoed through the flooded streets of seaside heights. a summer town, overwhelmed and eerily silent after the storm wrecked it. >> reporter: this is incredible. here and there those who stayed. they're refugees now. did you ride the storm out?
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>> yes, we stayed here. >> reporter: the boardwalk, it was the heart of this classic jersey shore resort. a strange place now. the amusement park is in ruins. the ride that gave generations of kids so many thrills, like crumpled and broken in the surf. little left here. this is sandy's legacy. so many communities will never be the same after this terrible storm struck monday. it made land fame near here margate, new jersey, and as sandy moved inland, the bulk of its wrath was felt in the upper right quadrant of its path leaving a trail of misery stretching north. it devastated atlantic city, jersey shore, beach towns and barrier island all the way up to new york. the island of manhattan inundated as the hudson and east rivers flooded. the richardson family chose to stay behind despite their living room and kitchen in three feet of water. >> there is nothing to do now
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but just clean up. >> reporter: new jersey's governor, chris christie known for his brashness seemed himself moved by what he saw. >> as a kid who was -- born and raised in the state, who -- who spent a lot of time over my life at the jersey shore. no question in my mind we will rebuild it. >> reporter: in cape may, the very southern tip touch the shore, no major damage. but a landscape transformed. this is an 8-foot street sign. that is now, waist high. in berkeley, the scene was equally tragically bizarre. as we made our way north along the shore, we got a sense of how vast this recovery must be. even here in seaside heights, a drowned town now, haunted by its stranded and frightened residents, and the ghosts of so many summers past. >> surreal to see. and here in new york city, things are slowly, and we stress slowly, getting back to normal. crews are working throughout the night to restore power off to
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the 750,000 people that are still in the dark. >> and the work of pumping out subway and traffic tunnels under the city's rivers is making some progression. the subways do remain closed though. also, closed, la guardia airport which was inundated with water. the other major airports, jfk, new york liberty are resuming service, limited service. >> a record storm surge that caused problems in lower manhattan. extensive precautions were not enough to keep the power on in loper manhattan. on a positive note. we do like positive notes. the new york stock exchange resumes trading this morning. become to back, days off. for the first time in nearly 124 years. >> since 1888. systems were closed for weather. a blied are back then, now this. >> in midtown, manhattan, the massive crane that was toppled in sandy's wind. still hanging. there. >> despite looking precariously perched. officials say it has ben secured
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for now. gas and steam lines in the area have been shut off to avoid a danger of fire. new york's mayor actually says given everything else, he quote, feels very good about the crane's situation. i know that neighborhood. people were out there yesterday taking pictures next to it. it's become like a tourist -- destination, in ape weird way the last couple days. >> very weird way. one of the heartwrenching images from our storm coverage was the tiny babies being evacuated from a new york hospital after the power failed. >> now we are learning amazing new details how that rescue operation went down. abc's brandi hitt joining us from outside new york hospital. hi, brandi. >> hi, paula. hi, rob. good morning to you. yes talk about a delicate situation here. 24 hours ago the power went out in loper manhattan. that included new york university medical center where the power is still out right now. and those backup generators failed. now we are starting to hear the heroic efforts made by doctors
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and nurses. they really had to put their priorities straight and go for the emergency and critical care patients including those 20 tiny babies that you may have seen the video of so far that has been coming into the newsroom. i mean, these babies, some of them were on respirators. and they had to have the air pumped manually into their lungs by the nurses and doctors as they carried them down these long stair wells, just, very slowly. you can imagine just a delicate situation. talk about an emotional sight for people who gathered on the street to watch this. the doctors and nurses helped get the critically injured to several hospitals. and some of the equipment was battery operated. this all went off without a hitch which is pretty amazing considering the circumstances according to abc news, dr. jennifer ashton. >> when you talk about moving patients out of the hospital and taking them down multiple flights of stairs. it is a logistical and medical
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nightmare. >> again it all went off without a hitch. you even heard from president obama today. praising those nurses. and the doctors. and now each one of the patients, the hospital behind me is now empty. each one of the patients is now being treated some where else, that they still need care. if not they have been allowed to go home. as you can see also here, we are still in the dark in lower manhattan. likely going to be several more days before they get the power restored to the region. rob, paula. >> all right, brandi hitt in manhattan this morning. brand spichl brandi, thank you for the report. they knew it would be bad, the intensity and cope of sandy took even the most seasoned weather experts by complete surprise. >> no one thought it would be this bad. after covering storms for decade. abc's sam champion was amazed as he rode out this one in the hardest hit area of manhattan. >> reporter: after 30 years of covering storms, there was no doubt in of my mind that sandy was going to be the super storm
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predicted. simply because no super charged, hybrid storm like this had ever made land fame. it was a hurricane wrapped in a no nor'easter. we are standing as the rolling water laps over the edge. there is a whitecap. i knew there would be serious flooding by the next high tide. you can't seep the edge of the fence. i can't get there any way. that means the water is about this high there. just after 10:00 monday night, i was stunned to realize the extent of that flooding. there we were, all surrounded by walter. now trapped on an island inside an island, looking for a way to get out. first driving south, then east, and then north. only to find a blockade of water at every turn. we had no choice but to retreat to the highest possible spot and wait out the night. we were lucky the water went down in a matter of hours and we were able to get out. for other whose have suffered the effect of sandy, the way to be clear of those effects will be much longer.
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sam champion, abc news, new york. >> you hear people, who this is their business. weather, covered it for years. to hear them talk about it in such term of being so amazed. puts it into perspective how bad this really was. how many storms as he seen. this one caught him by surprise. >> it was the perfect storm. sandy fueled a massive fire in queens, one of the most destructive in the history of the city. >> beyond heartbreaking. the wind-driven flames ripped through block after block, destroying more than 100 homes, 111, latest count. fire fighters managed to rescue two dozen people. flood walters kept them from tackling the blaze full on. before it was over, the neighborhood was unrecognizable. reduced to nothing but smoldering ash. >> the life got ripped out of you. that is a good description. >> i have over 34 years on the job. i have never seen this before. this amount of devastation. >> amazingly there only a few minor injuries. breezy point was also devastated
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on 9/11, losing 37 residents including fire fighters in the world trade center. also the home currently to a, representative in congress. as well. >> take a look at the video. it is apocalyptic. the scenes. iffage in 111 homes all burned. they don't know yet. that is look a movie scene out of there. out of all the horrible scenes we are going to see from the aftermath. the fire in queens, that neighborhood, i find that particularly heartbreaking. god bless the folks out there. an entire community just wiped out. the firefighters to a certain extent were helpless against it. just unbelievable. unbelievable. >> the cruel irony, the fire fighters, majority of firefighters that live there. yet a blaze they could do nothing about. >> so sad. to lighten it up here with a great story about quite an arrival during the storm. >> a little liam schlepey couldn't wait to get life going monday. his mom, christine started having serious contractions just as they lost power. after two ambulance ride they
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arrived, not at a hospital but at a church gym. >> sure they were praying. where christine gave birth. the help of doctors who never delivered a child before. and with no anesthesia. 5 pound, 2 ounce, liam, mom and dad all doing well. he is a beautiful little baby. >> welcome to the world, kid. >> our coverage of the aftermath of hurricane sandy continues after the break. >> up next, we will fake you to communities where families lost everything in an instant. and first responders frantically rushed those people to safety. ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by consumer cellular. [ female announcer ] so how long have you been living flake-free
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the pictures just -- can't put those into word. one of the hardest-hit towns in the hardest-hit state is little ferry new jersey. sandy's tidal surge overwhelming the levee meant to protect it. >> within an hour, little ferry was under water. within another hour the rescues were under way. abc's alex perez is there.
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>> reporter: rescuers made their way through flooded streets, picking up stranded families. >> do you want to come out? >> what? >> reporter: the boats bringing people to where they could be trucked to safety. whole families, huddling together in the backs of trucks. >> the entire -- able to go up on the second floor which was us. the water is almost gone. we have a baby. >> baby, baby. >> reporter: the frantic rescue operation began after sandy's storm surge swamped new jersey. >> it happened so fast. within 15 minutes. we had ten feet of water. >> stunned resident like vincent, grabbed whatever they could as the waters rose. >> there's nothing there no more. nothing. you can't salvage anything. >> reporter: new jersey took the brunt of sandy's wrath. the coast especially hit hard. these images from the town of seaside heights. neighborhood consumed by sand
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and water. down the shore, look at this. the community of seabright before sandy. and seabraight today just burie. in atlantic city the iconic boardwalk nowen ruins. the recovery in the garden state just beginning. but saving lives was the top priority. >> she can't walk. thoughts are she is in good spirits. she is not injured. and we are just waiting to -- her daughter. and get her to a evacuation center. >> reporter: first responders also racing to save lives in new york. boats navigating the swamped streets of staten island across the harbor. terrified 3-year-old haley, lifted into the arms of safety. so the rescues continue. >> guys you can just put them on the boat! >> reporter: sandy may have taken away these people's home, but she couldn't take away what they cherished the most. rescue crews are expected to continue working through the night to make sure people stranded in their home are able
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to got to safety. most people say they thought they were prepared for the storm. one family tells me they moved all of their valuables, their belongings up, four feet off the ground inside their home. the problem is, they got five feet of water inside their home. alex perez, ax news, little ferry, new jersey. i'm drew brees
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welcome back. president obama will be in new jersey touring the storm damage with governor christie. >> the election is less than a week away. and sandy has blown both candidates off course. here is jonathan karl. >> reporter: mitt romney transformed the planned ohio rally into a bid to support relief efforts. >> we won't be able to solve all the problems with our effort. one of the things i learned in life is you make the difference you can. >> reporter: it has trappings of
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a traditional campaign event, stage, big american flag, campaign music, lots of romney supporters. but you also have over here canned goods and supplies that people have brought for vick,ti of the storm. the storm put romneyen a bind. while the president can lead relief efforts. >> this is something heartbreaking for the nation. >> reporter: there is not much for romney to do beyond encouraging supporters to pitch in. with fema working overtime, democrats are hammering him for what he said at a debate when asked if some of fema's responsibilities should be turned over to the states. >> abslaugolutely. any team you have occasion to take something from the federal government and send back to the states that is the right direction. if you can go back and send it to the private sector that's better. >> reporter: romney wouldn't answer question as but that? >> governor would you eliminate fema if you were president. >> reporter: with canceled events. the campaign continues. bill clinton led a rally in
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indianapolis that appeared entirely political. with a race this close, not even a storm of the century can bring the campaign to a halt. jonathan karl, abc news, kettering ohio. cover everything.'t only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they pick up some of what medicare doesn't pay. and save you up to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. call today to request a free decision guide to help you better understand what medicare is all about. and which aarp medicare supplement plan works best for you. with these types of plans, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. there's a range of plans to choose from, too.
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sending you monthly doses right to your door so you will never forget to maintain your system. sign up at and finally, what turned hurricane sandy into a hybrid monster was that arctic front that it collided with when it arrived on land. >> that triggered a blizzard on the edges of the storm. and abc's le isa stark put on h snow boots to find out how people are coping with their early blast of winter. >> reporter: western maryland remains buried in snow. up to 2 feet in some areas. one of eight states walloped with blizzard conditions when sandy roared through. in west virginia even those sent out to rescue others had to be rescued.
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and at snowshoe mountain resort, snowdrifted into piles 3 feet high. whipped by 60 mile an hour winds. truckers and travelers were forced to wait out the blizzard when a major highway from maryland to west virginia was shut down for 50 miles. when we caught up with kevin he had been stranded for 15 hours. >> been here sense what, 8:00. >> in maryland, road crews struggled to open the roads. >> chan saw. >> it took mark wells five hours to hack through 50 to 60 trees, just to got to work. >> it was pretty treacherous. the trees were falling behind me as fast as i was cutting them out in front of me. >> reporter: wells had no sleep and there are more roads to clear. the problem isn't just the depth of the snow -- it is deep. it's the weight. this is a very heavy, wet snow. you can seat branches of the trees, they just can't stand up to it. all of those falling trees, brought,0 down power lines. like everyone here, the myers have no electricity.
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>> i have seen a lot of snow up here. not from the hurricane. >> reporter: it is not over yet. blizzard warnings remain. lisa stark, abc new, grantsville, maryland. >> the storm was amazing. you think about it. hurricane wrapped in a nor'easter wrapped in a blizzard. it was everything. the most all encompassing system. most have ever witnessed. beyond the flooding and rain here. you had feet of snow. incredible. some places up to 26 inches of snow. >> my family back in michigan. columbus, ohio, got drilled with snow as well. lake michigan expecting the highest waves on record. 22 feet high. >> that was the thing about the storm. the sheer size of it. 1,000 miles from cloud to cloud. in addition to being, at the center, category 3. don't let category 1 fool you. center terms of pressure. cat 3. same size as katrina. size of it cloud to cloud, hard to escape its grip for most of the country. an amazing system. we will continue to cover it.
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of course, through out the morning, keep it right here on abc.
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this morning on "world news now" -- after the perfect storm. >> for more than 8 million people struggling in the cold and dark. life as they know it is turned upside down. but they will recover. for at least 50 people, hurricane sandy proved deadly. >> that nature is more powerful than we are. >> after a devastating blow from nature, new york city is already on the rebound. its mass transit and airports, stores and stock exchanges coming become to life. its neighbor, new jersey, still in deep pain. >> i have met some folks there that -- obviously now have no place to live at the moment. and -- are extraordinarily emotional.
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and what they wanted more than anything else was just -- you know, to see me and to get a hug. >> a shore spot called funtown is now a mangled ghost town. haunting images on this halloween. in the face of the worst storm many people will ever see, some of the best of human nature, the bravery, the generosity, the determination to rebuild is on full display. it is wednesday, october 31st. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." and good wednesday morning, everyone. i'm paula faris. kind of a somber mood to this halloween. >> absolutely. feels a little strange, little surreal. good morning, everybody, i'm rob nelson. the impact and images from this storm will not soon be forgotten. >> so much has been lost and the clean-up it is just beginning. for many the grief will be lasting. >> but communities are proving as powerful as mother nature helping one another move into the future one determined step
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at a time. so we begin this wednesday morning, a morning in which two of the three major airports serving new york city are reopening though with limited service. >> the one not opening, la guardia was seen from above by abc's juju chang, it was part of a long helicopter tour she took yesterday. >> what's going on? >> it's closed! you have to go to another route! >> reporter: it took as much of the day navigating through streets made treacherous by sandy's fury. >> oh, my gosh, just got hit by a wave. >> reporter: we managed to rendezvous with a coast guard at a shuttered airport in new jersey. for a harrowing bird's eye view of this wounded city. >> look at this neighborhood right here. oh, man. >> it's devastated. >> the building is gone. >> reporter: their mission to get a more accurate picture of sandy's impact. >> just more flooding. down here on the left side. >> reporter: new york's rivers surged above the banks of lower manhattan with a record 13-foot wall of water. you could see the damage everywhere.
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the city's vital infrastructe, its underground subways crippled. the system that carries 5 million riders every day, still a deluge tunnel of darkness. authorities say it will take days to pump the water out of 46 miles of flooded track. largely because of that, the city is paralyzed for now. schools, restaurants, and many businesses remain closed. with subways shut down the only way on and off this island are its bridges and tunnels, which are slowly beginning to reopen. >> open for business. >> oh, my goodness. that is amazing. >> but flying out of this city is easier said than done. >> looks like la guardia is sinking into the ocean. >> that is la guardia down there t. it normally handles 1,000 flights a day. now a modern day atlantis. >> it looks like a river. >> it does. i couldn't see it at first. >> reporter: it doesn't look like a land mass, looks like a lake or pond. >> as we fly around the lower tip of manhattan.
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even new york's waterways are scarred. >> a lot of oil or something right down there. by pier 17. >> reporter: every one of the skyscrapers are without power. they're just dark. there is no street lights. there is no stop lights. in fact, the only lights are the headlights of the con-ed trucks frantically trying to restore power. as they work through the night, which may be fitting for a city that never sleeps. i'm juju chang in manhattan. >> what a view on the destruction. oh, amazing piece. president obama visits new jersey later today to see the damage firsthand. the state's famed jersey shore took a direct hit as sandy roared ashore. >> powerful winds and ocean surge knocked houses off their foundations. demolished boardwalks and wrecked amusement rides. viewing the damage was obviously an emotional moment for the state's usually brash governor. >> as a kid who was -- born and raised in this state -- and who
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spent a lot of time over my life, both my, childhood and my adult life, at the jersey shore. we will rebuild it. no question in my mind we will rebuild it. but for those of us who are my age, it won't be the same. it will be different. because, many of the iconic things that made it what it was are gone and washed into the ocean. >> more than half of the state is without power. and now residents are being warned that leaking fuel and standing water could spark an explosion as if the flooding wasn't enough. now they're worrying about a gas explosion. >> really could hear the emotion in governor christie's voice. you can feel that -- the sense of loss so clear. up the coast there are new questions this morning about a power failure at one of new york's prestigious hospitals. hundreds of patients had to be evacuated from nyu medical center. >> now a trustee says the hospital board, rather, knew the generators were out of date and
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at risk before the storm hit. abc's david muir was at the hospital as the evacuation began. >> reporter: when we arrived all you could see was the outline of the hospital against a darkened sky. a lone flashlight in one of the hospital rooms there, as doctors and nurses rushed from patient to patient. out front, ambulances, images from my iphone as we approached the hospital. just one of the nearly 300 patients who were one by one, brought out and taken to safety. from the sky, ambulances lined up around the block from all over the city. and we are learning more about the moment the lights went out, the moment the critical machines, the respirators stopped. this young doctor right there. >> the patients on ventilators. >> the babies. >> babies, yeah. >> reporter: their first concern, babies in intensive care. 20 of them. this nurse clutching a newborn wrapped in a blanket holding one of the plastic bags. she was doing the work of the respirators herself in fact all the nurses in the unit were doing what's called
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"bagging the air." literally squeezing bags of air into the tiny little lungs. cradling the babies and carrying them nine floors down. another baby rushed out, dwarfed by the size of the gurney. once outside, the bag replaced with oxygen brought in by paramedics. anne tire team surrounding one baby. in fact, a hospital source telling me that's what they did moment the power was cut off. dividing into teams, surrounding one patient at time, carefully bringing them down a darkened stairwell, carrying them on plastic sleds rushed in by paramedics. flash lights all they had to see their way. >> there is literally like a bunch of people who would go with each patient carry them down the stairs physically. >> reporter: they were pulled out on the sled, sliding along the hospital floor. one by one we watched. still evacuating long after the sun came up. it is 10:00 a.m. in the morning, you can see there is still a line of ambulances all the way up the street here. this operation has been going on for 12 hours now. you can see them lining up at the front entrance of the hospital here as they carefully bring the patients down. >> 15 hours after the evacuations began they were done. and the president had learned of the heroic nurses and those
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newborns. >> during the darkness of the storm, i think we also saw what is brightest in america. nurses at nyu hospital carrying fragile newborns to safety. >> reporter: really remarkable what the nurses and doctors did with all the machines down. started pumping air into the tiny lungs of the newborns, on their own, when the respirators failed, keeping the babies alive. we know six area hospitals here in new york took every one of the patients from this hospital, four of the patients who left here were women in labor and we have learned that at least two of them have now given birth. david muir, abc news, new york. >> unbelievable. >> wow. heartbreaking story -- in breezy point, queens, they were bracing for water, but what they got was a fire so fierce more than 100 homes burned to the ground. >> believe you described it as "apocalyptic," rob. sandy forced the flames through the neighborhood like a blow torch glowing across the top of the dark sky. waist-deep floodwaters held firefighters at bay. by daybreak it looked like a war
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zone, obliterated homes with only chimneys still standing. >> a part of you -- the life got ripped out of you. that's a good description. >> i have over 34 years on the job, i have never seen this before. this amount of devastation. >> the fire was one of the worst in the city's history. amazingly, no one was killed. folks if you are going to donate in the aftermath of the storm, keep that community and those folks in mind, please. that is just beyond devastating. amid our reporting on the storm and its aftermath. we are starting to hear talk about whether or not sandy was the result of climate change. >> now scientists say it is unfair to blame the storm and destruction in the change in the earth's climate. there is no conclusive link between any one storm and global warming. nonetheless, new york's governor calls it all a new reality. >> we have a 100-year flood every two years now. and i think at this point, it is undeniable, but that we have a higher frequency of these
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extreme weather situations and we have to deal with it. >> scientists have concluded as the climate warms there will be fewer total hurricanes, but they say those that do develop will be stronger and wetter. >> an issue we have not unfortunately heard much about in the campaign. in light of this you hope it would generate some discussion. what about the governor's question, in the aftermath of storms like these there is always speculation that things are getting worse. >> so we took that particular question to meteorologist jim dickey of to see how unusual a weather pattern like this is. >> good morning, rob and paula. well sandy will likely go down as one of if not the worst storms to ever impact the new jersey beaches and new york city. the reason behind this unprecedented impact is the unusual path this storm took. sandy's path took it directly into southern new jersey. a worst case scenario for the region. now here, every line you see on this graphic is the track the tropical system took that impacted the new york city area.
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well, as you can see, a number of tropical systems did hit through the years. no storm took that path into southern new jersey like sandy did on monday. so, why this unusual path? why is it unseen until now? first off, important to note, tropical systems do spot in october. the atlantic hurricane season ends november 30th here, there is a secondary peak in october of tropical storm formation. in fact it is because the storm occurred so late in october, in my opinion, that it was able to take the path it did. through the fall, the jet stream migrates its way southward and strengthens, bringing shots of cold air southward with it. it was one of the cold shots of air, powerful one at that, that allowed sandy to become the super storm it did, and also that forced it to come inland at the sharp angle that it did. because of the storm's path. strong winds were directed inland at high tide. into the new york city area. into the new jersey beaches. this produced the devastating storm surge the like of which the region hasn't seen in recent memory if ever and hopefully will not see again for a long, long time. rob, paula, back to you.
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>> our thanks to accuweather's jim dickey. here is maybe an indication of how things are going up here in new york. do you remember that massive crane in midtown, manhattan, that was brought down by sandy's powerful wind? well, new york's mayor says he "feels very good about it now." >> he might be the only one that feels good about it. the crane has been secured and all the gas and steam lines in that area have been turned off. that is to avoid a fire in the event that, if it were to come crashing down. the streets around there, closed. offices are said to be closed indefinitely. he says once the wind dies down, the mayor says, the city will find a way to pull it in, all ten tons of it. >> that will be an amazing operation. that is 1,000 feet in the air. you don't want to see it fall. probably shrapnel alone could do damage. the city has done a good job blocking off a significant area around, including carnegie hall, one of our famous landmarks/venues here. keeping an eye on it. keep it up there. >> it's become a tourist attraction as you mentioned. >> as it does. coming up --
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our coverage of hurricane sandy continues after the break. an emotional day really for new jersey's governor. his memories of the areas that have endured so much devastation. >> but first, sandy may be the biggest october surprise of all for political campaigns. some say the storm has the candidates playing politics. it is all coming of on "world news now." ♪ >> announcer: "world news now" weather brought to you by lysol power and free. by lysol power and free. and harshness of bleach. and free ourselves from worrying about the ones we love. new lysol power & free has more cleaning power than bleach. how? the secret is the hydrogen peroxide formula. it attacks tough stains and kills 99.9% of germs. new lysol power & free. powerful cleaning that's family friendly. another step forward in our mission for health.
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until they see this. the oral-b pro-health clinical brush. its pro-flex sides adjust to teeth and gums for a better clean. the pro-health clinical brush from oral-b. sandy is not done with us just yet. she is still on the move this
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morning. shaking things up from coast to coast. >> this storm is so powerful. it has scrambled a presidential election that is now less than a week away. here is abc's bill weir. >> reporter: sandy may be 50 miles outside of pittsburgh. she is dropping a full assortment of meteorological misery from georgia to wisconsin. on the west virginia/maryland border it comes in the form of snow. enough to turn 50 miles of interstate into a treacherous parking lot. they're expecting 14 inches of this in north carolina. meanwhile, in cleveland, the storm scarred the rock 'n' roll hall of fame before churning up waves on lake michigan high enough to set records and force folks from their midwestern homes. and the fact that all of this is playing out a week before election day, could make sandy, the mother of all october surprises. while it looked look a campaign stop in battleground ohio. mitt romney deliberately stepped off the stump to accept relief donations. and encourage more.
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but he avoided questions about his previous stance on the role of fema. meanwhile, president obama stayed in washington, to visit the red cross, and attend briefings, coordinate, governors and utility ceos. >> i think he has handled it well. >> reporter: either a compassionate decision or calculated one depending on who was calling into ron verb's radio show in youngstown, ohio. >> you are on the air, nick, go ahead, please. >> where was he when it happened in benghazi. four people died. he flew to las vegas. he learned his lesson, that's all. >> reporter: one republican mind that seemed to change at least for now. governor chris christie. >> i want to thank the president personally for his personal attention to this. >> reporter: obama will be with christie in new jersey. and sandy will be in canada. and what it all means for the election is still destined to be a november surprise. i'm bill weir in youngstown, ohio. >> announcer: "world news now" continues after this from our
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governor chris christie was visibly shaken after surveying what sandy had done to his state. >> the new jersey governor described how emotional it has ben to witness all the loss. >> let me start with i just never thought i would see what i saw today, ever. i have met some folks there that --
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obviously now have no place to live at the moment. and are extraordinarily emotional. what they wanted more than anything else was just, you know, to see me, and to get a hug. we got back up into the helicopter. and, and flew to the, the jersey shore of my youth where we used to go all the time. to the boardwalk, at seaside heights. and -- and it is gone. the pier with the rides where i was, took my kids this august before the republican convention. those ride are in the atlantic ocean. my two younger kids rode this summer in the atlantic ocean. the roller coaster all of them rode. the stand in the middle of the boardwalk that sells sausage and peppers and lemonade is gone. and i looked for it today. and the entire structure is
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gone. >> there is -- >> very emotional. >> yeah, really is. >> there's politics then there is real life. we feel your pain, governor. and we will be right back. ♪ we will be right back.
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♪ ♪
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>> how do those images not move you on this halloween morning? unbelievable. really is just -- a surreal feeling, up and down the coast. >> i think the image that gets me is the medical personnel, just from nyu medical's center taking those little babies, those 20 babies, from the nicu, manually administering the oxygen. a lot of families didn't know that their children, their own children, their own infants were being transferred until they saw them on tv. >> guardian angels in the hospital. finally this half-hour, the staggering toll of super storm sandy has now killed at least 50 people across 11 states. at least 20 of them in the new york tri-state area alone.
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>> that number is certain to grow. there are power outages in nearly half the state's in this country. 8.2 million people are in the dark right now. across 21 states. in the eastern seaboard. and the great lakes. i know con-edison in new york says this storm was the worst in its history. and the power is not expected to be back before the weekend. >> getting the subways back up and running dependent upon the power coming back on. really new york city is paralyzed by this. the subway system, the lifeblood of this town. there is so much riding on the power getting back up. every day, conveniences, plus getting the city in motion and the railroad. i hope, obviously, as you have watched the show for a while. you know, i lived in new orleans for katrina. this has brought back a lot of memories from 2005. the same scenes played out in the south. now that it happened in the different part of the country, opened people's eyes it can happen in more than one part of the country and sensitize people to just how bad these storms can be. i hope maybe that's --
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if there is any good to come out of this, maybe a little bit of that. >> we thank you for watching on
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